Block by block
by little red pen
In the past couple of weeks we’ve weathered death and the extended family, work changes and drama, the tip past solstice towards the Return of the Light, cold, flu, nits, money woes, boredom, and a dwindling supply of firewood. None of it unmanageable, but taken together, it’s got me and Ian in a state where we eye the coffee pot at dawn, the wine bottle at 5pm and bed at 9pm. The Rabbit has been joining us in said bed most nights, and while he’s usually small, warm and soothing as a night-time companion, in his current condition he’s wriggly, unsettled and coughy. We’re going away at the end of the week; we’ll be limping all the way to the airport gate, but dear lord is it going to be good to fly out of here. My to-do list never seems to get below 30 items, no matter how many times I sit on call waiting or write an email.
However, we are also making progress. We’ve weeded the whole garden and trimmed most of the hedge. We’ve booked flights and buses, we’ve chopped wood, we’ve planted bulbs. We’ve kept the children warm and fed, and we’ve done puzzles and watched a lot of soccer. We remember to hug each other often, to say thank you, to celebrate small achievements. The boys have been playing together, kicking a ball around, building carriages for the trike. They found a huhu grub, roasted it on the barbecue, and ate it. That felt like a milestone, but of what sort, I do not know. The toilet does not smell of boy pee more days than it does. I’m getting more exercise and reading more books. The little things and the big, carrying us through.
The Rabbit is having one more day at home today, getting over a virus and resting his wee self. He got out the Duplo and built this vehicle, and I don’t think it’s just motherly pride that makes me love it. The colours and the patterns make me happy, the punctuation of blocks with wheels. It has all the order and sweet calm that I love in him, that he seeks under the surface of his frustrations and stroppiness, that bend his arms around my neck in the night, that make him smile when he wakes and sees me — make him smile and kiss me good morning even after the most restless of nights.